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New Bill Would Let States Legalize Marijuana

Memo Pad Politics

New Bill Would Let States Legalize Marijuana


Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) want to end the prohibition of marijuana in the U.S. and begin to regulate it as we do alcohol and cigarettes. Their new bill would remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, shifting its regulation to the renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms.

Eighteen states now have voted for at least partial legalization of marijuana. Polis and Blumenauer’s bill would prevent the federal government from enforcing current federal drug laws to prosecute users of the drug who are abiding by state laws.

President Obama has said that he would not prioritize the enforcement of federal pot laws in Washington or Colorado, where voters recently chose to legalize the drug for personal recreational use. But this policy could change at any time without a change in the law.

The bill would not force other states to legalize marijuana.

“This legislation doesn’t force any state to legalize marijuana, but Colorado and the 18 other jurisdictions that have chosen to allow marijuana for medical or recreational use deserve the certainty of knowing that federal agents won’t raid state-legal businesses,” Polis said. “Congress should simply allow states to regulate marijuana as they see fit and stop wasting federal tax dollars on the failed drug war.”

Observers say the bill is still not likely to get serious consideration in the current Congress.

“There is one big reason why Congress is not likely to take this issue up: They don’t want to bother the corporations that they rely on for funding,” writes Open Congress‘ Donny Shaw.

While some industries — like tobacco and agriculture — support marijuana legalization, the pharmaceutical industry, which funds one of the largest lobbying efforts in America, opposes it. Drug companies have moved into medical marijuana cultivation but still seem opposed to legalization.

In December of 2012, a 51 percent majority of Americans polled supported legalization of marijuana, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.

“Americans have increasingly come to the conclusion that the drug war is a failed policy,” Rep. Polis said. “We need to address it as a public health issue rather than a security issue.”

But for now, it seems that voters are more likely than Congress to support legalization.

Continue reading for a fact sheet and the text of the bill.


  1. dtgraham February 7, 2013

    Jeez, you guys are kickin’ our ass up here. First, State after State legalizes gay marriage. Now you’re legalizing pot.

    You’re Canada with nuclear weapons.

    1. Johnnie Dorman February 8, 2013

      Progression away from the ignorance and oppression of the past is really a problem for you, eh?

      1. dtgraham February 8, 2013

        I’m going to have to choose my words more carefully at times. Actually I meant the opposite. I’m glad to see both. I’m very left wing and progressive. Sorry for the confusion.

  2. old_blu February 7, 2013

    I’m okay with it being legal, and I can’t stand it myself, but just because of all the resources that are being used up trying to catch all the weed smokers, and I’m not sure what they are accomplishing chaseing after them.

  3. I Zheet M'Drawz February 7, 2013

    Of course the war on drugs is worthwhile!

    We need desparately to keep all those maryjewwanna users from injecting maryjewwanna pills into their eyeballs. First they shoot up with the maryjewwanna pills then they grab their fully automagic revolver with a 50 round magazine & climb up into the bell tower & take out us Gawd fearin’ citizens.

    1. sneschalmers666 February 8, 2013

      Agreed, my neighbors boiled it and then snorted it before breaking into my house and microwaved my cat. These assholes need to be stopped!

  4. option31 February 7, 2013

    UH the states do not “need permission” they can do it on their own – as CA, WA and CO have proven. Only reason the feds are looking at this is tax $’s

    1. Erik Nash February 8, 2013

      If the feds were looking at this in tax $$$, we wouldn’t have the issues that we have now. The feds are not interested in this as tax revenue, they are interested in this because it has the potential to cut off their supply of legal slaves (prison labor)

    2. Center_Scrutinizer February 9, 2013

      Taxes are not what drives the Feds continued persecution of a flower – The Feds are driven by nothing other than their corporate masters.

      Just follow the money to see who is behind prohibitionist law that poll after poll overwhelmingly says the public no longer supports. Pay attention to who is putting up millions of $$ to fund pro-prohibition news adds, billboards and faithful polititions and you will see exactly who the forces are driving the anti pot “movement”.

      Hint: Prison industrial complex, police and prison guard unions, big pharma, DEA etc, etc
      But hey ….. I’m sure these lobbying forces with $$ falling out of their pockets so their “friends” in office can get reelected are only looking out to better serve humanity and not just to ensure the continued stream of grossly enormous amounts of money/power they currently enjoy completely unchecked.

  5. John Zelazo February 8, 2013

    If you ever want the feeling of going nowhere fast, just get on board this agenda, no need for any drugs of any kind.

    1. Johnnie Dorman February 8, 2013

      Go take another drink of alcohol, I’m sure that drug will do you a lot of good since it’s legal.

  6. Silver Fang February 8, 2013

    Sounds good to me, but no way in hell it passes as long as congress is filled with old white men over 70.

  7. Johnnie Dorman February 8, 2013

    Yeah, old white men that are owned and trained by big money (corporations).

  8. SaneJane February 8, 2013

    Just turn it over to the states. Where are all the “state’s rights” and small government people on this issue?

    1. Gianfranco Fino February 8, 2013

      I’m right here SaneJane and this small (l)ibertarian and big (R)epublican is right with you on this issue. As a matter of fact, this Ron Paul Republican, agrees with Daniel Mitchell, Erik Nash, jstsyn, but not really Marilyn because if you tax the shite out of it, it will just end up black market again. Let’s be reasonable- does it cost between $5,000-$20,000 for a liquor license? No, you say. I agree because this ultra-uber-regulation which is happening in this industry will play right into the hands of big businesses- after all they can afford the cost of exorbitant fees, fines, and regulations. You BIG GUB people better take care of this plant and keep it in the hands of the PEOPLE and not POLITICIANS!

      Oh and BTW, Jared Polis my first Democrat that I ever voted for. Probably the last, but hey, we need to stand up for what’s right and I didn’t think Lumberg was state’s rights enough for me- I was a one item voter for my county. For my country, I didn’t vote for a NDAA President or runner up. Hey how about that assassination of Americans without due process. Come on I know you watch the daily show. 🙂 Anyways this country, to fly straight needs a right wing, and a left wing. The fridges of the two are closer than the media has led you to believe.


    2. Center_Scrutinizer February 9, 2013

      Well, where else would they be? ….Obviously they are either in the board room or at one of their winter vacation homes.
      Apparently you have confused the agenda with actual intention.

      “State rights” and “small government” are only good ideals when they benefit corporate intrests – as in enviromental/labor/consumer protection law deregulation. Any other form of “state rights” or “smaller government” ideals which could offer some even remote form of liberty or freedom from oppression to individuals is in fact actually (pick one) satanism/communism/socialism.

      Please don’t fear or bother thinking for yourself as there is no need for such foolishness ….. If something is “good” or worthy of your attention then the corporate information machine will let you know what to think.

      No worries ….. The Unicorporate States of America really knows whats best for you(them).

    3. option31 February 9, 2013

      CA, WA and CO have done just that, others are considering. This is part of what is moving the feds – as usual they are behind the curve of the people and now the states. They have to at least make the attempt to legalize on national level lest the states do it on their own and find out they actually can defy idiotic edicts from the feds. If you want to move it along quicker quit convicting people and aquit them when you serve on a jury – it is not only your right but duty to judge the law and its justness and if YOU find the law unjust you aquit. Read about the Trial of Peter Zenger, you will be amazed at the power you have as a jurist.

  9. Daniel Mitchell February 8, 2013

    “Drug companies have moved into medical marijuana cultivation but still seem opposed to legalization.”
    Since when have drug companies ever done anything that was right or good? The only thing they are interested in is lining their pockets.

  10. Erik Nash February 8, 2013

    You want this retarded collection of idiots to legalize pot? These inept group of retarded chimps, baboons couldn’t and won’t come together to keep this country from collapse, now you want them to give away the only leverage and control that they have on us as well???? NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, no matter how many signatures you collect or how many votes it passes by.

  11. jstsyn February 8, 2013

    Everyone has got to admit, anything that would end the costly and useless war on drugs would be welcome. How many lives ruined by a pot conviction and prison?

  12. Marilyn Bement February 8, 2013

    Do just that and each state could tax the living sh*t right out of it. While your at it legalize prostitution also require health certificates for each hooker and tax the crap out of that also.

  13. mlredmond February 8, 2013

    Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana are ways to kill the pains of life. It allows you to drug yourself so you do not feel. Medicine prescriptions do the same thing. It is time for people to stop running from reality and face their issues. I have been off alcohol for over 27 years, off all prescriptions for 12 years and never did Marijuana. I have found the reality I was afraid of and found that truth does set you free.

  14. Center_Scrutinizer February 9, 2013

    Boy ….. Thank the Lord there are still AA zealots around to save us all from ourselves! Why stop with something as innoculous and non toxic as a “feel good” flower like cannabis? God obviously had no idea what he was doing providing such temptations to man.

    I say we ban everything that those with no self control can abuse for the betterment of all society! Just think of a bright world where there is nothing to help dull the sharp daggers of life, assist humanity in questioning itself or allow the harmless blowing off of steam while hurting no one. Freedom indeed!

  15. judgeglenda February 9, 2013

    pot can be used for acute and chronic pain unlike pills that cause cause overdosing and addiction.

  16. option31 February 9, 2013

    Have to say this has been a long fight – since late 1970’s but persistance, knowledge, education are finally paying off – along with the astromical costs dollar wise and rights wise. Thank you to the people in CA, CO and WA that defied the feds and did the right thing. The states are driving this as if more states follow suit they will figure the feds are actually paper tigers that can be hit on the nose with a paper and told to back down. The feds know if they don’t attempt to appear as leaders on this the states may actually take other issues on such as NDAA, TSA, Drones etc —– oh wait they are!

  17. Urbane_Gorilla February 9, 2013

    It was pointed out in a letter to the editor that Prohibition required an Amendment to the Constitution to allow the Feds to enforce it, and a second Amendment to repeal it. This was necessary as the 10th Amendment clearly says that any authority not specifically assigned to the Federal Government remains in the State’s hands. it read as such:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Where exactly is the “Amendment” allowing the Feds to prosecute legal marijuana use as approved by the States and their citizens?

  18. keeping it real February 10, 2013

    I am a very liberal yellow-dog-Democrat, but I don’t want weed legalized. Maybe if the smoking of it can be controlled or shall I say limited to certain places in doors, I could be convinced to go along with it’s making it legal. I haven’t smelled the stuff in probably 20 years, but I do remember that it stanked to high heaven! I never have smoked it, but there was a time that when you went to a concert, as soon as the lights went out some fools would light up.


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